Kenya’s government has announced a ban on state advertising in commercial media in the country, a move intended to cut costs. 

It says it spends about $20m (£16m) on advertising on things such as state tenders, job positions and public service announcements. 

A government memo has told all state agencies to advertise through a new government magazine, My.Gov. 

Privately owned The Daily Nation reports, quoting the document, that the move followed a resolution to bypass private media organisations: 

“During the special cabinet meeting held on February 8, 2017, the cabinet discussed and approved establishment of a wide circulation newspaper to be known as MY.GOV that will articulate the government agenda in a deeper and more accurate way for a better appreciation of government’s effort to improve the livelihood of the citizens.”

The move if implemented will lead to huge revenue losses and probably lead to more job cuts in the media industry.  

The Nation reports that two main newspapers, The Star and The People Daily, have entered into an agreement with the government to distribute its advertising magazine for a fee. 

The BBC’s Ferdinand Omondi in the capital, Nairobi, says some commentators are concerned about the move given that general elections are due in August when there is a need for strong and independent media coverage.